Reading What are The Best Lenses for Studio Photography 8 minutes

What are The Best Lenses for Studio Photography

What are The Best Lenses for Studio Photography

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What are The Best Lenses for Portrait Photography?

Attaining top-quality images in portrait photography depends on minute factors like your choice of lens. Various lens brands ensure you cover the quality loopholes.  

Therefore, it's important to consider your lens type to get the best portrait results. If you want one or are looking for what to look for in a quality lens, the following write-up reviews the details.

Read for feature recommendations and some of the best industry gadgets for portrait photography. 

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Portrait Lenses

For All Round Usage

[ This review is concerned with not only scientific lens scores and statistics, but also actual usage and a balanced opinion as to which portrait lenses are top for all-around usage. ]

First, let’s figure out some basic information:

Which Is the Best: Prime Lens vs. Zoom Lens

Portraits mainly utilize Prime Lens & Zoom Lens.

  • Prime lens: Usually, this type has a fixed focal length.
  • Zoom lens: Unlike the prime lens, the zoom variety has a wide range of focal lengths for you to choose from. 

Prime Lens Features

‘Low Light Performance’

The larger maximum aperture leads to better results in low-light photography.

‘Blur Features’

Also, the larger aperture has a shallow depth in images. Therefore, the background can be out of focus and automatically blurred.

‘Fast Focus’

The fast focus is great, though it makes the lens more expensive.

Zoom Lens Features

‘Changeable Focal Length’

Allows room for different creative results.

Faster Zooms

Note that zoom lenses are better in bigger studios or outdoor situations. You might not utilize all the focal lengths in a small shooting space. Normally a 24mm-70mm is enough.  

                  'More Expensive'              

More expensive than the Prime lens. 

So which are the best lens variations in the market? Check below for more information.
Best Lens Brands for Portraits

 

We'll look at different lens brands and what they offer for your portrait purposes.

Canon Portrait Lens:

Lens Details Price$ (for reference)
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 II USM

Focal Length:35mm Maximum Aperture: f/1.4 Wide Angel for Full-body

$1,999
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Focal Length:50mm Sharp, High-resolution Images Specializes in Bokeh $349
Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Focal length: 24-70mm Fast F2.8 constant maximum aperture 0.38m closest focus, 0.19x magnification For Canon SLRs of all formats $1,899
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Focal Length: 85 mm Silent Wave Motor Super Integrated Coating $499
Canon 70 - 200mm f/2.8L IS II USM (For Large Studio) Focal Length: 70-200 mm Nano Crystal Coat Superior Autofocus $1,796
a baby portrait under a proper portrait lens
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 II USM

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 II USM

  • The EF 35mm lens boasts a wide angle; 

  • Offering BR optical elements and reliable chromatic aberration correction features;
  • Get the desired results regardless of your studio setting; 
  • But be ready to part away with close to $2,000 for this gadget.  
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

  • An essential standard lens; 
  • A 50mm type that doesn’t distort facial features;
  • Ensures you maintain superior sharpness & excellent color balance; 
  • Results in high quality through its superior focus and natural blurring convenience.
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

  • One of the most versatile focal ranges; 
  • Allows for a great deal of diversity and via the wide to close-up angle variations;
  • Has superior imaging capability, enhanced durability, and usability;
  • Includes in low-light situations and the creation of excellent blurs.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
  1. Provides great close-up results closeness without showing any distortion;
  2. Has an excellent color outlook and reliable subject isolation;
  3. Very affordable. 
    Canon 70 - 200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

    Canon 70 - 200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

    • A powerful precision zoom & clarity;
    • Has great sharpness for professional shoots at large ceremonies or sporting events;
    • Can use it for full-body to close-up shots;
    • Need a strong tripod for support due to its heavy weight.
    For detailed information on this part, please read: What are The Best Canon Lenses for Portrait Photography?

    The last lens brand is the ever-reliable Nikon industry. Check out the lineup below for the best Nikon Prime and Zoom lenses: 

    Nikon Portrait Lens:

    Lens Details Price$ (for reference)
    AF-S 35mm f/1.4G Focal Length:35mm Maximum Aperture: f/1.4 Wide Angel for Full-body $1,546
    AF-S 85mm f/1.4G Focal Length: 85 mm M/A focus Mode Switch Larger Aperture $1,500+
    AF-S 50mm f/1.8G Focal Length: 50 mm Silent Wave Motor Super Integrated Coating $199.95
    Nikon 58mm f/1.4G Focal Length:58mm Sharp, High-resolution Images Specializes in Bokeh $798
    Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f2.8 Focal Length:24-70mm Zoom Lens Aperture: f/2.8 $1,600+
    AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 (For Large Studio) Focal Length: 70-200 mm Nano Crystal Coat Superior Autofocus $1,700+
    Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G

    Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G

    • A wide-angle prime lens, perfect for environmental portrait photography;
    • Offers sharp and accurate photo results;
    • The Nikon gadget specializes in capturing larger backgrounds & environments;
    • Ideal for full-frame body shots;
    • Be able to separate your subject nicely from your background.

    Nikon 85mm f/1.4G

    • One of Nikon's best portrait lenses; 
    • Compatible with a smaller nature and is very affordable; 
    • Perfect performance, offering fast and accurate results while on the field or in studio;
    • Helps display the foreground clearly while it excels in blurring your background. 

    Nikon 50mm f/1.8G

    • The most classical Nikon portrait lens;
    • Extremely cheap, with light weight, but still offers great performance; 
    • A similar view as the human eye, guaranteeing no distortion aspects;
    • Easy functionality, thus suitable for beginners in portrait photography.
    Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8

    Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8

    • Creates brilliant image;
    • More opportunities to try different focal length. You can find your best style;
    • 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR boasts superior optical performance;
    • Better resolution & more natural blur.
    Nikon 58mm f/1.4G

    Nikon 58mm f/1.4G

    • Your solution if you want a unique image;
    • Specializes in bokeh and can make the subject appear more three-dimensional;
    • More than just achieve gorgeous pictures with this lens.
    The Sigma lens offers a great alternative due to its affordability. Follow below for the best Sigma gadgets for your portrait projects.

    Sigma Portraits Lens:

    Lens Details Price$ (for reference)
    35mm DG HSM f/1.4 Art Focal Length:35mm Maximum Aperture: f/1.4 Wide Angel for Full-body $519
    50mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art Focal Length: 50 mm M/A Focus Mode Switch Larger Aperture $844
    135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Focal Length: 135 mm Silent Wave Motor Super Integrated Coating $1,399
    Sigma 35mm DG HSM f/1.4 Art

    Sigma 35mm DG HSM f/1.4 Art

    1. An affordable option offering some other best portrait shots;
    2. Accurate and sharper photos and reliable focus; 
    3. Versatile due to its portability
    Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art

    Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art

    1. An affordable Sigma lens offering fantastic image quality
    2. Boasts a ring-type ultrasonic autofocus system, to give diverse performance; 
    3. The optical layout can be complex. 
    Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art

    Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art

    1. A premium lens with easy composition, and delivers stunning compression effects, even when close to the photo subject
    2. Its compression effect shines in both close-ups and full-length; 
    3. Offers an excellent bokeh feature when working on outdoor shoots.

    Alternative Portrait Lens Options

    If you have these gadgets or would rather try other brands, here are some of the options to choose from: 

    Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 DI VC USD for Canon and Nikon
    Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2R
    Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS
    Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7
    Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8G OSS
    Olympus Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8
    Sony FE 50mm f/1.8
    ...

    Depending on your preference and budget, you can get your preferred portrait lens. The three main brands discussed offer Greta options, ensuring everyone gets a quality lens. The Canon option seems to thrive, and is an excellent premium option. Alternatively, check the list provided for third-pick choices. 

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